Scottish Christians join together in prayer this Sunday

This Sunday (8 November), as we begin the season of Remembrance, Christians across the country – and further afield – will join together in prayer at 7pm in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A book and a cup of tea on a tray outside in the woods during Autumn

As with previous weeks during lockdown and the phased easing of restrictions, 14 Christian churches and organisations across the country, including the Church of Scotland, have co-signed the letter calling for prayer.

Scottish Christians have been continuing to answer the call to pray at the same time each week, and Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has been taking part alongside them.

“There are some things which make sense for a certain period of time but which come to a natural conclusion - such as clapping for carers during the spring lockdown. Prayer isn’t one of them,” Dr Fair said.

“The Apostle Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing’ and Jesus himself offers parables where persistence in prayer is lauded.

“It can be hard to keep going when there’s no end in sight; much easier when the finishing line comes into view. In the case of the pandemic, it still feels as if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

“All the more reason then for God’s people to continue faithfully in prayer. And even better when we can pray across the whole of the Church, unrestricted by denominational divides.

“If Sunday at 7pm is in your diary, keep it there. Thank you. If it hadn’t been, it would be great to have you involved. It matters that we pray."

This week's letter accompanying the prayer, which is also available in Gaelic (a copy of which will be available to read here soon) states:

“The season of Remembrance invites us, at one and the same time, to look back and to look forward. As we look back, we recall those who have gone before us and, on a broader scale, the human tragedies that have scarred our world.

“The tragedy of human conflict continues to scar the lives of so many at this time and so our act of remembrance has an immediate resonance in present times.

“As we look forward, we affirm the living hope that is founded in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. In affirming this hope, we resolve to live our lives shaped by that hope and so our resolve has an immediate resonance in present times. Remembrance of the past and hope for the future shape our lives in the present.

“In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear of what it is to live as those who pray ‘thy Kingdom come’ and who anticipate the coming of the Kingdom.

“Jesus said: ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’ (5: 43-45 a)

“In these challenging times, we are invited to embrace the teaching of Jesus anew and to live in the present as those whose lives are shaped by ‘the life of the world to come’.”

We pray:

Living God,
We come before you
To look back and to remember.
In our remembrance,
We give thanks for the lives of those who have gone before us
And who have shaped the world in the light of your Kingdom.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come before you
To look forward and to affirm
The hope founded in the resurrection our Lord Jesus Christ.
May we journey hopefully in these times
And live lives shaped in the light of your Kingdom.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come before you
To remember those whose lives have been scarred
By past conflicts.
Grant to us grace to live as peacemakers
And strength to break down the barriers of division.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
We come before you
As we journey forward
And face the challenges of our times.
Grant to us that we may live
As those whose lives are shaped by the life of the world to come.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Lindsey Sanderson, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Claire Fender, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)